Posted in Reiki, Spiritual Direction

Grand Re-Opening

I am excited to announce that I am completely moved into my new office and will begin taking clients for Spiritual Counseling and Reiki on Monday, June 15, 2020!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Counseling supports you in:

  • Processing Grief
  • Managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma
  • Releasing symptoms of past trauma
  • Moving through life-transitions (job changes, divorce, moves, children, empty-nest)
  • Processing world changes
  • Finding meaning and purpose in your life
  • Fulfilling your dreams

 

Reiki:

  • Supports deep relaxation
  • Helps to calm anxiety and worry
  • Brings peace to the body, mind and spirit
  • Calms and balances the mind
  • Restores balance and harmony to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body
  • Supports the release of painful emotions and past trauma
  • Supports physical, emotional and mental wellbeing
  • Supports the body’s ability to heal itself

 

The following appointment times will be available:

 

Mondays and Tuesdays

3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm

 

Thursdays:

9:00 am, 10:30 am, noon

 

All appointments will run 60-90 minutes depending on your needs.

 

Appointment Fees:  Pay what you are able between $90.00 and $120.00.  Reduced fees are available for those suffering financial hardship.

 

Email lauri@authenticfreedom.love or call (920) 230-1313 to schedule your appointment.

 

My office is located at 711 Oregon St.  Oshkosh, WI  inside Essentials for Wellness and in the same building as Inner Sun Yoga Studio.

***During the Covid-19 event, I will provide you with the option of mask or no mask.  I am happy to wear a mask if you like.  I will leave this to your own discretion and discernment.  Hand sanitizer will also be made available.  

 

 

NOTE:  Phone, Skype and ZOOM sessions are also available.  Please email for availability.

 

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS has her master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology, is a trained Spiritual Director, Reiki Master, and ordained interfaith minister.  She has been providing both Spiritual Counseling and Reiki since 2001 and has supported hundreds of women and men in their journey to wholeness.  Lauri is also a highly regarded educator and published author.  She developed her own protocol, Authentic Freedom™ to support people in identifying and healing the fears that prevent them from experiencing peace and fulfillment in their lives. She incorporates this protocol in everything that she does.

Posted in Healing, Inspiration, mental illness

Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Video Blog with Kayla Burger

This morning, I was so honored to be contacted by Kayla Burger, a lifestyles Video blogger.  Yesterday she posted a video blog on the topic of Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks and referenced some of my writing.  I found her work to be inspired, articulate, authentic and empowering.  Check out Kayla’s Vlog here and learn more about her work below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pm3VMVwlhg&feature=youtu.be

In Kayla’s words:

In stopping and listening to our symptoms, we no longer need to get rid of them, because we are allowing them to tell us what we need to know. 

Read Lauri Ann’s blog here : http://authenticfreedom.love/2…

Watch the first video by clicking the link: https://youtu.be/_9UOe76x3J4

This video is really important to me and even though I may get a lot of hate for it, I feel like it’s something we need to talk about and open our minds to. Thank you for being here and thank you for being you, I hope you find the courage to love yourself enough to start the journey of discovering and listening to the voice within. 

“May you listen to the voice within even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding and lead you to freedom.” 
Elizabeth Lesser 

W E B S I T E :

designlife.wtf@gmail.com

T W I T T E R :

@kaylabecoming (https://twitter.com/kaylabecoming)

I N S T A G R A M :

@kaylabecoming (https://www.instagram.com/kayla.burger/)

B L O G G E R :

http://kaylaburger.blogspot.co.za/

P A T R E O N : 

https://www.patreon.com/designlife


// A B O U T : 

My name is Kayla. I am a writer, video creator and a holistic beauty and life coach. My purpose is to share information and inspiration about loving yourself, body mind and soul. 

DESIGNLIFE is about living your life by design and not default. It’s about living a life of inspiration, rather than desperation. 

Follow the journey and join in on the discussions, each happy and open-minded person makes the world a better and more loving place. We are a community of people who are willing to learn and share and help.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God, Mystics, Oneness with God

Lessons on Loneliness

sadwomanpixabay

I have had many conversations with fellow mystics on the topic of loneliness. As mystics we ARE different from the norm, usually pretty far-left of center. Many find it difficult to relate to or understand us. Others are hesitant to draw near because of the light we shine on the love they are, which they are perhaps not yet ready to be. We think, move, act, believe, see, differently and some find this disturbing. All this is reason enough to feel alone, set apart, even lonely. But there is an even greater source of our loneliness and it is God. More specifically, the call of the mystic, above all else, is to know God/dess, and it is through loneliness that God calls us home to ourselves and home to God. As I recent wrote to a student, fellow-mystic and spiritual sojourner:

Mystics always feel some sense of loneliness and isolation.  It is the other edge of this double-edged gift.  On one hand, we experience God more intimately and as One.  On the other hand, we long for more of this.  It is the “loneliness” that keeps us seeking God, seeking that experience of Oneness.  

Our human inclination is to believe there is something wrong with us for feeling the deep ache of this existential loneliness. We judge ourselves. We wish for this aching emptiness to go away. We seek after the remedy to this loneliness by looking for things outside of us (including other people) to fill the void. What we end up finding is simply more emptiness, for there is nothing “out there” that can fill this void. Instead, we are invited to go into the loneliness for it is here we shall find God/Self. Again, as I shared with my student:

Transformation comes when we realize that loneliness is the GIFT that compels us toward God and that it is GOD we are lonely for – nothing else (which keeps us from looking “out there” for something to fill our emptiness – and emptiness that can only be filled by God). Don’t despair of the loneliness.  Don’t chase after its remedy.  Welcome it and accept it as part of your gift.  

The loneliness and deep sense of isolation that plagues the mystic is in fact, our greatest gift. The loneliness that society tells us to judge and which we therefore are tempted to resist is actually God calling us into an ever-deepening intimacy. It is in entering into the loneliness, welcoming it, becoming comfortable with it that we find God and in finding God we find ourselves. And if more loneliness remains, we are called to remember that it is only God calling us even deeper into the love that we are and to dare to even go there. As there is no limit to the love of God and the love that we are in God, there is likely no end to the loneliness. When we accept this truth and cease from judging, resisting, or trying to rid ourselves of this loneliness, it is here that we find peace.

For support in the journey of knowing Self and knowing the Divine that dwells within, consider the Authentic Freedom Mastery Program. Enjoy the free preview course to see if it might be for you. Click on the image below to learn more and to register:

authenticfreedommasterycourseiconmotherhouse

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Midlife Journey, women

Surviving Midlife – New online course!

Surviving Midlife – guidance and support for women through the sometimes treacherous journey from childbirth to birthing themselves.

12 self-paced online lessons with instructor guidance and support.

Only $66.00!!!!

Click on image to learn more and register
Click on image to learn more and register

Somewhere between the ages of 35 and 45, (and which continues until our death) women begin the process of the midlife journey – a process through which they move beyond childbearing to birthing themselves.  For many, the advent of this transition comes in the form of a rude awakening, personal crisis or tragedy and continues through volatile physical and emotional changes which seem at once to be disconcerting and confusing.  The purpose of the midlife journey is to knock women out of the comfort of status quo and into the passion, meaning and purpose that will define their lives beyond motherhood.  Like childbirth, the midlife journey can be dangerous and fraught with pain, but like the birth of a child, can produce a gift beyond measure and miraculous to behold.

Common signs that you might be in the midst of the midlife transition:

Experiences of:

  • Restlessness
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Longing
  • Discontent
  • Impatience, anger,  rage
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Physical and emotional changes
  • Grief
  • Sadness

The purpose and goal of the midlife transition is to clear out all the inner and outer obstacles and make way for the birth of our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in our life and to contribute to the betterment of the world, then it is time to put on our big girl and big boy panties!  Only the truly brave and courageous will succeed in their goal.  The rest, will be doomed to a life of quiet desperation,  – just sayin! (not that there is anything wrong with making that choice).

mapofmidlifeimageonly

The purpose of this course is to support you in your midlife journey. This course supports you through the midlife awakening and on the labyrinthine journey through the twists and turns of unraveling from the past toward returning to and reclaiming your Soul. Here you will discover you Soul’s purpose for the second half of life, a purpose that is meaningful, fulfilling, joyful and content.

Lesson One: Awakening

Lesson Two: Confronting Fears

Lesson Three: Unraveling the Past

Lesson Four: Finding Support

Lesson Five: Illusions Shattered

Lesson Six: Seeking the Voice of Truth

Lesson Seven: Dark Night of the Relationship

Lesson Eight: Befriending Our Bodies

Lesson Nine: Hiding in the Shadows

Lesson Ten: Childhood Dreams

Lesson Eleven: Birthing our Soul

Lesson Twelve: Returning

Click on image to learn more and register
Click on image to learn more and register

Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Empowerment, Lessons

It’s Not That They Don’t Love Me – It’s That They Don’t Love Themselves

There is nothing more healing than the startling realization that a deeply imbedded emotional wound has always and forever been based in a lie. Here the wound was the fear that I am not/was not loved.  The realization is that in every situation where I was treated in less than loving ways, where I felt rejected or unloved, it was not because I am not loved…..it is because those who were doing the “rejecting,” don’t love themselves.  Here’s how it happened:

For the past several months, I’ve been working with a trauma specialist, hoping to alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and panic attack, due, in part, to past traumas. The specific treatment protocol we have been using is Brainspotting.  (Please check out the Brainspotting website to learn more.  If you are in the Oshkosh area and are interested in exploring treatment for healing trauma, I have been working with Kristin Gage, and I recommend her highly!).

In this week’s Brainspotting session, what surfaced was a life-review of sorts. In this life review, I was shown every single situation in my life where I felt rejected, criticized, condemned, or falsely accused.  The life-review began with Mrs. Plager, my kindergarten teacher taping my mouth shut and locking me in the closet for the simple reason that I was a happy, gregarious, creative, 5 year old.  I was punished simply for being me.  The life review then continued through every conflictual relationship – my third grade music teacher who pounded my head against my desk for humming the wrong notes, the “mean girls” of middle school and high school, every boy who wouldn’t love me, teachers who hated me, Fr. Doyle who gave me a “C” in high school religion class for challenging his contention that he got to go to heaven first simply by nature of his ordination, my college nemesis, the self-appointed inquisition, the priest who became the final straw and our local bishop.  I saw every situation in my life where I felt rejected and unloved ….  Quite frankly, for simply being me.

1960's 005

After the life-review, I was then shown a different viewpoint. I saw every single one of these “rejections” not from my own vantage point, but from the inner experience of those who were doing the “rejecting.”  What I saw BLEW ME AWAY.

It was not that they didn’t love me. It was that they didn’t love themselves.

Here is how it worked. Unless pushed to act otherwise, I have never, in my whole entire life, wanted to be anything but loving toward another.  Yes, I have reacted in anger to feeling hurt or rejected.  Yes, I did the normal sibling things of fighting, arguing, bickering, etc.  Yes, I have been human and liked some people more than others.  And there have been some people I have stayed away from because, quite frankly, they scare me.  But in all of this….I still want to treat everyone with love.

What I have learned is that not everyone wants to be loved. Not everyone can stand in the light of love.  When love comes toward them, it triggers their own unhealed wounds around love, specifically all the ways in which they do not feel loved within themselves.  Once this wound is triggered, (and believe me, my own woundedness around love is triggered from time to time), we do one of two things:

  • We recognize that our wound has been triggered and we do some self-care to help support the healing of that wound.
  • We project that wound back onto the person who triggered it, making them the enemy.

The latter is what happened in each and every one of those cases where I felt unloved by a teacher, “friend,” stranger, etc. It is not that they did not love me, it was that my presence somehow triggered their own unhealed wounds around love and they either did not have the awareness, the courage or the tools to do something about it.  So instead of treating their own wound, they turned it back on me, making me the enemy.

So again, it was never that they did not love me, it was that they did not love themselves. How freeing and empowering is that?

Posted in Being Human, Discernment

Why I’m Choosing Prozac

 

Trauma

A creeping sensation crawling up the length of my spine,

Arriving at the base of my skull,

Gripping my head like a vice,

Wrapping its tentacles around my ears and jaw,

Pain creeping over the top of my head.

Eyes darting,

following the anxious thoughts in my mind

My consciousness on hyper-alert

Attentive to

Every

Subtle

Tiny

Thought

Movement

Change

Shift

Sensation

Emotion

Awareness

Breath.

Did I remember to breathe?

A flood of chemicals pouring through my entire being

Paralyzing my mind.

Gripping my sight

Fretfully seeking out the next possible threat.

Image: Pixabay.com
Image: Pixabay.com

Anxiety and panic attacks accompanied by migraine headaches and depression. It hasn’t always been like this, but for the past 12 years, since I had my first (known) panic attack in 2004, this has been the preoccupation of my waking (and sleeping) mind and the lived experience of anxiety as it floods my body.  And when anxiety isn’t flooding my body, all my energy has been directed toward trying to prevent its onslaught.

It didn’t used to be this way. In fact, I remember a time when I simply enjoyed life.  Yes, I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve and succeed, but I used to remember how to have fun…and how to play.  And driving used to be one of my most enjoyable tasks, relaxing even.  But when panic attacks happen while driving, driving becomes something you dread, equating driving with death, because when you are having a panic attack, it feels like you just might die.  And when you are driving a vehicle at 70mph as your vision is closing in and your heart is pounding, it just doesn’t feel very safe.

It didn’t used to be this way. But, couple the genetic predisposition to the Irish curse (depression and anxiety) with 25 years of on-going and relentless trauma, and panic is bound to happen….and anxiety….and migraine headaches…and depression.

At first I was in denial. “Oh, it’s just low blood sugar, an endocrine imbalance, the wine I had last night, the lack of sleep, blah blah blah.

Then I bargained. Yoga helps.  Meditation helps.  If I eat the right foods, get the right amount of sleep, learn to be present with my emotions, let my Soul’s purpose come forward, allow 30+ years of suppressed emotions to find their expression, engage my creativity, dance, move, run, drum, scream, chant, etc. etc. etc.

While all of this has helped, and given me relief from time to time, mostly I have spent the past 12 years trying not to have anxiety or a panic attack – scrutinizing every thought, feeling emotion, social situation as potential triggers, forcing myself to BE MY TRUE SELF….watching all the while as my world gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Avoiding social situations because I might feel anxious.  Choosing not to drive….or making excuses, so I won’t have a panic attack.  Then feeling guilty as hell for depriving myself and my children of a life that should be about enjoyment….not imprisonment.

It isn’t even the panic attacks that are the problem – because in truth, I’ve only had a few. It is the on-going fear and protective measures taken in the hopes of preventing a panic attack, measures which ironically are most likely an enormous part of the problem.

So what does one do? A few years back when panic attacks were waking me out of a dead sleep, I tried Lexapro.  Yes, it silenced the other voice in my head, the panic attacks stopped and I even began to feel some measure of joy.  But the entire time I was on it, I felt like shit.  I felt hung over and nauseous every day.  I was tired and I gained weight.  This was not how I wanted to live my life.  Then the Lexapro stopped working and I forgot to take it.  For a time I managed on my own, but was I really? I’m no longer sure.

Because now I see it plainly. This past weekend I took my son to the mall, which required driving on the highway I’m most afraid to travel.  I employed every tactic I could to “make” myself able to do it.  I breathed.  I drummed.  I took a flower essence.  I listened to a comedy CD to distract my anxious thoughts.  I did it.  But instead of feeling victorious, I felt like hell.  I felt sick, I felt exhausted, I felt worn out.  Then I examined what I had been feeling in preparation for the drive and how my body truly responded….and then wrote the poem above.

This is not a life. Making myself do things I am currently unable to do…and making myself sick in order to do them.

This is not a life. Using all my energy to “manage” symptoms I ultimately have no control over.  Anxiety.  Depression.  Migraines.  Panic Attacks…..all the after-effects of trauma.  You could almost say I earned these symptoms.

This is not a life. When all my energy is directed toward managing these symptoms, I have nothing left to give to the things I want to enjoy in my life – creating, nurturing, nourishing, enjoying, playing.  When every ounce of psychic energy is directed toward treating anxiety, depression, migraines and panic attacks, I have nothing left to give to anything else, and this is not how I want to spend my energy – especially when Western medicine has tools to help ease, and maybe even heal the trauma that caused these symptoms in the first place.  Because again, when all my energy is directed toward managing these symptoms, my body is not able to heal – and I want to heal because I am more than the trauma that I have experienced and more than the anxiety that has since defined my life.

This is why I am choosing Prozac (or whatever else my doctor might recommend in helping to treat the after, and ongoing effects of trauma).

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Relationships

How the “Unholy Masculine” is Killing Us.

I want to be clear, right from the start, this blog is NOT about men and it is not against men. This blog is about a characteristic and behavior pattern of Western culture that I have come to call “the unholy masculine.” Both women and men are guilty of embodying characteristics and engaging in behaviors consistent with the “unholy masculine,” and THIS is the cause of all that is wrong with Western culture and IT is killing us.

The unholy masculine can be defined as:

Behaviors and characteristics of power and control, ultimately motivated by fear.

The unholy masculine are all the ways in which we attempt to have power over ourselves and/or others through acts of coercion, bullying, manipulating through fear and insecurity (think advertising and the media), trying to “make things happen,” forcing outcomes, agendas, our own will, etc.

angrywomanpixabay

The unholy masculine ultimately arises in response to our wholesale rejection of all that we perceive in ourselves as weakness, vulnerability, imperfection, helplessness, powerlessness, etc. Often this rejection of self isn’t even known, but is instead projected onto others, resulting in behavior patterns where we reject “them” (think “the poor,” “the jobless and unemployed,” “homeless,” “disabled,” “sick,” etc.)  because of their “weakness” or “powerlessness”.  The irony is that when we are rejecting others for their “weakness” what we are really rejecting is the weak and vulnerable parts of ourselves, which we then mask with behaviors of power and control.

Let me tell you a little story to help illustrate the subtle and insidious nature of the unholy masculine, as I have experienced it within myself.

As a Type One on the Enneagram, the Perfectionist/Reformer, imperfection is not allowed – specifically, imperfection as I define it. Imperfection in my mind has been anything that has to do with my definition of weakness and includes such things as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, helplessness, neediness, illness.  Sadness, loneliness, and anger have also been included in the soup of what I had/have rejected in myself, and what I therefore rejected in others because I could not accept them in myself. In contrast to the weakness that was not allowed, what was allowed was my definition of perfect….which meant independent (self-sufficient), courageous, smart, strong, and accomplished – specifically accomplished.

If I was accomplishing tasks, achieving my goals, I was perfect and strong. Especially if I was accomplishing these goals in spite of my fears, my insecurities, my sadness, loneliness….and later…anxiety, depression, panic attacks and SHEER EXHAUSTION. For most of my life, I rejected these parts of myself so much that I didn’t even know they existed.  (My Chi Qong master once observed, “Lauri, I sometimes think the only way you are making it from day to day is simply by force of your own will.”  Yep…she had me pegged!)

Accomplishing arose out of Doing, therefore “doing” was “good” and “not doing” was bad. Enjoyment, for the simple sake of enjoyment was also not allowed – because enjoyment did not equal “doing.”  Besides, enjoyment is only allowed after the doing is done, and the “doing” is never done – there is always something else I could/should be doing to accomplish my goals and complete my tasks.

THIS is the UNHOLY MASCULINE – suppressing the parts of myself I had rejected by means of power and control, forcing myself to DO and ACCOMPLISH because this is what I perceived to be of value and what I believed it meant to be perfect.

angrymanpixabay

As it turns out, all of this “DOING” for the sake of “ACCOMPLISHING” was mostly done in opposition to what my Soul actually needed and wanted. On occasion, my Soul would let me know this by casting me into a pit of profound “weakness.”  In high school it was two bouts with mono, in college it was chronic migraines, in midlife, anxiety, depression and panic attacks.  Most recently, it started with a MASSIVE virus that turned into an ear infection leading to vertigo, which then led to anxiety and depression, even panic attacks– the effects of which I am still struggling with today (hint….”struggling” is another manifestation of the unholy masculine).

THIS is the UNHOLY MASCULINE….and I am not the only one guilty of this behavior. In fact, the Unholy Masculine is what is wrong with our culture and it is the Unholy Masculine that is killing us.

  • Every time we act in opposition to our Soul,.
  • Every time we FORCE ourselves or others to do something, through coercion, bullying, manipulating through fear or by triggering insecurities.
  • Every time we JUDGE parts of ourselves as weak, worthless, unworthy, imperfect, bad, and then reject these in ourselves.
  • When we project our judgment of ourselves or our rejection of ourselves onto others.
  • When we bully, intimidate, try to “make something happen,” force ourselves or others into situations that are in opposition to their Soul.
  • When life feels like a struggle, a fight, a war.
  • When our relationships feel like a struggle.
  • Every time we treat ourselves or others in ways that are non-loving or unkind…

We are engaging in the Unholy Masculine.

lovingchildrenpixabay

The key to healing ourselves and therefore our culture of the Unholy Masculine begins with identifying and learning to love all the parts of ourselves we had previously rejected:

  • Our perceived weakness (which often turn out to be our greatest gifts).
  • Our vulnerabilities.
  • Our needs, wants, desires.
  • Our past hurts and unhealed wounds.
  • Our losses, our sorrows and our grief.
  • Our aging, changing bodies.
  • The ways in which our looks don’t measure up to what Victoria’s Secret or GQ Magazine tells us is the ideal.
  • Our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual “illnesses”.
  • Our past traumas, and broken hearts.
  • Our emotions.
  • Our thoughts.
  • The unique way in which our Soul NEEDS to move about this world.

As we come to accept these in ourselves, we come to accept them in others, the result of which is loving behavior toward ourselves and loving behaviors toward others.

In this we transform the unholy masculine to the HOLY MASCULINE – providing, protecting and supporting through kind and loving acts, which is exactly what I am off to do for myself this day. Game of Thrones, Season 3, here I come!

 

 

Posted in Teenage Suicide

The Causes of Teenage Suicide

The topic of teenage suicide has been high on my list of concerns since the first of two suicides of girls my daughter’s age in the seventh grade. Six of my children’s peers have committed suicide in the same number of years.  When the national statistic for teenage suicide is 7 out of 100,000 students of the same age, the suicide rate in my daughter’s class alone is alarmingly high!  FIVE OUT OF 250!  As a parent, and a psychological and personal development professional, I am deeply concerned!  What is happening with our children and how can we help them?

Teenage suicide is an enormous topic and one that will not be solved through a single action (or blog in this case). But as a dear friend and respected colleague recently stated, our goal around the topic of teenage suicide should be ZERO TOLERANCE. None of our children should be left to believe that suicide is the only way out of whatever difficult situation is troubling them.  Preventing teen suicide and providing support for those who have lost a family member or friend to suicide requires the collaborative efforts of many people, social service, educational and government entities.  Before we can solve the problem of teenage suicide, however, we must first explore the underlying causes of suicide.

CausesofSuicideVisual

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives us a glimpse into many pieces of a complicated puzzle that when added up, might lead one to believe death is the only possible solution.

STRESS

Our teens are under an enormous amount of stress. Stress related to:

Relationships – peers, friends, family, cliques, boyfriends, girlfriends, breakups, heartbreak, unrequited love, divorce, etc.

Pressure to Achieve – school, pressure to do well in school, decisions about college and career, pressure from the media, friends, family, pressure to belong, pressure to conform, etc.

The World – as I mentioned in a previous blog, “Our Kids Are Not Alright!,” our world is a mess!  Our children have NEVER not known a world at war!  Our economic and political situations are the worst they’ve ever been.  The educational outlook (the reason for pursuing education post-high school) is grim.  Our children know that the promise of a “financially rewarding career” after college is a lie.  They are facing the very real possibility of not being able to afford college (tuition rates are at an all-time high), and that the only way to attend might be through student loans which will leave them forever indebted to the government and never able to buy their own home.  This is real folks!  And our children know it!

Stress untreated = more stress = apathy = anxiety = depression

 

GRIEF

Every death, change, disappointment, hurt feeling, divorce, physical move, school transfer, breakup, change in the status of friend relationships, etc. triggers grief. In our culture we don’t know how to do grief.  We don’t even know what grief is, let alone how to deal with it.  This is no different for our children.  They are grieving, they might not know they are grieving (or the symptoms of grief), and there are few there to help them (we can’t help them if we don’t know how to grieve ourselves!).

Grief untreated = anxiety and depression

ABUSE

Abuse is rampant in our society and many of our children are living in abusive situations – physical, emotional, mental, verbal, spiritual, sexual, being bullied or neglected. Whether they are being abused, or someone else in their home or close-knit circle of friends is, they suffer the effects of abuse.  On-going abuse can lead to PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other “diagnosable” mental illnesses.

Abuse untreated = anxiety = depression = PTSD = panic attacks

 

POVERTY

While teenage suicide is not unique to any specific socio-economic category, poverty adds another dimension of stress– poverty, hunger, homelessness, poor nutrition, access to quality healthcare (or any healthcare for that matter), transient families, etc. all contribute additional stressors in an already difficult situation that might lead to believing death is ones best option.

Poverty = anxiety = isolation = depression = helplessness = hopelessness

 

LEARNING DISABILITIES, PROCESSING and SENSITIVITY ISSUES

According to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), this category should fall under that of “mental illness.” I refuse to put learning and processing issues under this category as it would only reinforce the false perception that if we learn differently from what the Common Core says is the “norm” there is something “wrong” with us.  While some “learning disabilities” are readily identified and accommodations are able to be made (because this is mandated by the State or Federal government), most are not.  Dyslexia, for example, is one processing issue that often falls through the cracks.  This does not even begin to touch learning style differences and sensitivity issues.  HSP’s (highly sensitive people) are not identified in education, neither are accommodations made for them.  When our children learn by seeing or doing and teaching is not adapted to meet their needs, or accommodations are not offered to help them learn, they can’t learn.  And when they can’t learn, they cannot succeed in education.

Not learning=not achieving=not succeeding=feelings of failure=stress, depression, anxiety, etc.

 

MENTAL ILLNESS

See above! No wonder the number of children who are being treated for symptoms consistent with mental illness – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, etc. is at an all-time high.  Our children are suffering and much of this remains unrecognized, unacknowledged and therefore, untreated.  Throw in access to healthcare (or rather, the lack thereof) and a culture that is incapable of processing grief and you have a MESS!  Our children need our help!

Depression    Anxiety    Panic Attacks    PTSD

SuicideMindmap

Preventing teenage suicide begins by treating it at its cause. When we go directly to the cause we effectively eliminate the issues that would lead one to believing death is the only answer.  While this approach ultimately means widespread systemic change, the resources are already here, if we know where to look and if we can figure out how to work together toward this common goal.  While we might not save every life, our goal should be to make teenage suicide rare, instead of what has already happened in Oshkosh where teenage suicide has become expected and almost normal.  This is wrong….way wrong, and as parents and professionals, it is our responsibility to do something about it!

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Being Human, Empowerment, Lessons, mental illness, teachers, temptation

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

On Saturday, June 13th I had three full-blown panic attacks, the third so debilitating I was not able to drive myself and my son home from a shopping trip 30 miles from home.  As I mentioned in my blog on Monday, panic attacks suck…..or do they?  What if panic attacks are not here to harm or torture us, but are instead, here to teach us?  What if instead of judging them as harmful, rushing off to medicate them, or wanting to push them away, we welcomed them closer and allowed them to be our teacher?  What, you might ask, could a panic attack teach us other than, “life sucks and then you die?”  Let’s find out… 

panic

There is always more to the story…

As much as I hate having panic attacks, and they are terrifying while they are happening and every moment in between, for me, and I suspect many others who experience anxiety, depression and panic attacks (note:  the three are closely related), there is always more to the story.  Panic attacks don’t simply show up out of nowhere (though they sure seem like they do).  They always have deeper roots.  As I sat in the fog of the post-panic, post-Xanax hangover, I had ample opportunity to sort through all the potential precursors of panic (while trying not to get too much into old patterns of self-deprecation and negative self-judgment of thinking I did something wrong to bring on this panic and that there must be something wrong with me…).  In the search, I discovered there was a litany of potential “causes”:

Wine – ugh!  One tiny glass of wine the evening before (and as I noted had happened before every panic attack or near-panic I’ve had).  Wine=yeast=triggering my candida allergy.  Apparently there is a tie between candida and panic.  SIGH.  No more wine for me.

Keeping a lid on it!  Tending to a friend who received a medical treatment.  Helping another friend who received a cancer diagnosis.  Being present with a friend whose mother recently passed.  Lots of travel.  And just life in general.  Lots to carry.  Lots to hold.  Throw in some good old fashioned money fears…and….NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF in the midst of it all!  TONS of emotions were bottled up in me that needed to find a way out…..and boy did they!  (And let’s not forget the link between panic and past, unresolved trauma!)

STEPPING INTO MY GREATNESS!  The week leading up to the panic attack was a HUGE week for me.  I stepped into my new venture as Authentic Freedom Academy.  I put AFA out into the world.  I formed an affiliate program and sent out invites.  I completed the most recent Resurrecting the Magdalene course and ordained (yes, I said “ORDAINED!”) four women into The Order of the Magdalene/Christ. I received an important message about my beloved partner.  And finally…..through the support of some shamanic journey work, I rediscovered some very ancient methods of manifestation (ie: magic) and for bringing the new world into being.  Hint: “The Law of Attraction” is OUT (truth be told, it was never in for me anyway…more on that later).

Gethsemane

The link between panic and POWER

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there IS a link between panic and STANDING IN OUR POWER.  The way I understand it, the link between panic and power is two-fold:

Ignoring the voice of our Soul:

First, panic (and its precursor – anxiety) arises when we ignore, silence, suppress and repress our POWER, our truth, our gifts, our call, our purpose and our passions.  When we ignore the voice of our SOUL is will do everything in its power to get our attention.  The more we ignore the voice of the SOUL, the harder it works, sometimes having to resort to desperate measures to get our attention – even if it means panic.  This has definitely been the case for me.  When the truth is in my face again and again and again and I choose to ignore it, panic steps in.

Stepping into our power:

Panic attacks can also arise as a form of temptation.  The closer we get to our Soul’s purpose, God’s call for us in our life, the path of our highest Self, the harder the ego works to thwart us on our path.  Our Soul longs to be free – to have a life of fulfillment, expansiveness, meaning, peacefulness and love.  The ego wants SAME, status quo, what is old and familiar.  Think of Jesus in the desert and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In both instances, Jesus did battle with “Satan” over the path before him.  Heed the voice of fear and make himself equal to God (as was the discussion in the desert) or heed the voice of fear and recant his truth (that he was One with God but not necessarily equal)?  The ego does not want us to enjoy the path of our Soul or to embrace our gifts or our true power.  Instead, the ego wants us to remain small, in a place and situation that is familiar.  Toward that end, the ego will resort to all sorts of ministrations to keep us from our power – even panic attacks if it needs to.

Power and panic in proportion

I can think of two situations in particular (this weekend included) where a powerful moment of stepping into my power presented itself and panic stepped in.  In both situations, and army of support presented itself and I eventually figured out the true source of the panic – not in something I had done wrong, but in something I had done right!  Talk about empowering.  It is interesting to me to note that the degree to which we are stepping into our power is equal to the degree to which the ego fights to keep us from it.  From the degree of the panic attacks I experienced this weekend, I’m guessing I’m getting pretty dang close to the purpose of my soul and to the root of my true power.  How about you?

Stay tuned Panic Attacks, the Devil Inside Part II where we will learn how to embrace temptation (ie: panic attacks) as our teacher instead of our tormentor.

Authentic Freedom Academy provides resources and support for those wishing to heed the voice of their Soul – for those who know they are here for a reason, who want to know what that reason is, and who wish to contribute to the betterment of themselves and the world through their own unique giftedness.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@autheticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Empowerment, grief, Spiritual Direction

Before Psychotherapy

Today’s blog explores the ancient mentoring practices that preceded modern-day psychotherapy, still exist today and in many ways are more effective than traditional therapy.

Freud

Life before Freud

I know it is hard to believe, but psychology was not born with Sigmund Freud.  Neither did it only come to exist thanks in part to Greek philosophers.  I know this is what is what academia teaches as the roots of psychology, but there have been psychologists throughout human history – perhaps as far back as our human origins.  Before Freud, however, these remarkable women and men were not called psychologists, instead, they were called such things as spiritual director, teacher, abbott, abbess, priestess, priest, elder, medicine woman, medicine man, guru, oracle, and shaman.  Throughout human history there have been powerful women and men gifted and then trained to assist people in becoming their truest self and helping individuals to find healing and transformation from their inner ills.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, worry, grief, loss, vocational discernment, even physical maladies were tended to through these wise and gifted teachers.  These women and men held places of honor within their communities and their needs were provided for by the community in exchange for the generous sharing of their gifts.

What Happened?

In a person – Descartes.  With his masterful separation of God from reason and matter, mystery was divorced from science – so much so that anything of mystery came to be set aside or disregarded as something only for the ignorant and foolish.  With near surgical precision, the transcendent was excised from the treatment of the human person and in the Western world, the spiritual director, shaman, medicine woman and man lost their place and psychotherapy stepped in.

It All Comes Back Around

Not anymore.  People have grown frustrated with the limitations of traditional psychotherapy – and the medical model in general.  People are tired of being reduced to something that must be “scientifically verifiable.”  Women and men are looking for depth, meaning, fulfillment and wholeness and this can only be accomplished by reconnecting with mystery. While there is still an important place in our world for traditional psychotherapy, many are searching for more.

Authentic Freedom Mentoring

This is where Authentic Freedom mentoring comes in.  As a trained spiritual director and Reiki master, I have honed the necessary skills for leading people through the mystery and for empowering them to become self-actualized.  In doing this work, many of the everyday issues of anxiety, depression, panic attack, the effects of trauma and grief, are healed and released so that the individual is free to be their original self – the person God made them to be.  As there is no talk of God or mystery in traditional psychotherapy, this might not be the path for all – but it is an effective path for many – even those who consider themselves to be atheist – for even in atheism – the mystery remains.

Lauri Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring over the phone, via Skype  and in person. To schedule a session call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Click HERE to learn about being trained as an Authentic Freedom Facilitator or Mentor.